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Spotlight on a Rescuer in Moldova Noua

It’s getting worse out here in the countryside, in the rural areas, because we’re facing now many cases of stray dogs being shot by hunters: and the law protects them. A close friend had a dog shot while out on a walk in a forest near a village. The dog was shot within a foot from her – one missed bullet and it could have been her. And more and more cases pop up, all over the country.

People shoot an abuse the dogs, because the strays form small packs and the idiots say that the dogs will kill their children. All because of that one child in 2013 who was killed by a dog – a stray they said – causing everyone to panic and rush out and kill dogs – so when they found out it was a guard dog on private land – it was too late and people still had in their dogs that stray dogs kill children. If I watch the news, thousands get killed on our roads in car crashes – but the real danger is dogs? Also stray dogs go into their yards and hunt their poultry, so the solution is to kill or axe the dogs – to them it is the simple answer.

But what can we do about shooting dogs. The law is written by the same government, the one that protects hunters. The same government allows authorities like the ANSVSA (The National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority (ANSVSA) operates as a regulator in the field of veterinary and food safety, a specialized body of central public administration) to sleep at their desks and not do anything, but what can be done? A few years back I filed a complaint about the dog market in the city. Every weekend people come and sell dogs out the trunk of their cars, so called breed dogs. No action. My official Complaints about unspayed dogs have been tossed – it is a waste of time to deal with these people.

Our county is large area wise, and most the population are in Timisoara. Which means that in the countryside, it is mainly the the old and the poor who have remained behind: which leads to animals being abandoned a lot more as these are the people who have not thought about changing attitudes. Younger people have generally all migrated towards Timisoara or other counties. (In 2011, there were 18% less people than in 2002 and the number is still declining). Only I moved from Timișoara back to the village to help the dogs. Dogs around are hardly ever spayed or even vaccinated and most live on a chain. Sadly many cannot even write in proper Romanian. In my town, I am the only one who helps the dogs, the next closest person who helps is about an hour drive
away. I supervise the public shelter in our town and also the one an hour away: most rescuers save dogs from the street because they have a better chance of being adopted. Not so many people care for animals. I have 250 dogs in the shelters and 40 at my home.

In my town people say I make a lot of money selling dogs. It’s a joke right? Probably that’s why I live in an old house and drive an old car. There are many people in Romania that call rescuers traffickers. Either way, Romanians won’t adopt and Europeans are getting flooded by dogs from all over Romania plus the rest of Eastern Europe. So less and less adoptions.

Many of the 250 dogs in the shelter will probably never have a home. It’s so sad for me because I know them and grow attached to them and I hope for them. Even if I could make life better for them here – only no one wants to come and walk the dogs, to play with them. Just a few kind kids who come once a month to give them treats and pet them.

And all this is my worry for the dogs. My own life is zero. I have a child, I have 40 dogs at home. With barely any money we live a very basic life – we do not have fancy clothes shops or the money to visit – but we have shoes – many children here still have no shoes and maybe one set of clothes. I have so few friends, because of the dogs and my child so I do not go out in the evenings. There are no bars or anything for a long way from home. It really is so sad that we have so very little help here and we have to beg for donations to feed the dogs, and it feels so awful to have to ask people for help like this. I really wish that our country would treat all dogs like your civilised countries.